Ben Rothwell signs with BKFC after parting ways with UFC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ben Rothwell will be taking off the gloves for his next fight after inking a deal to join the roster at BKFC.

The veteran heavyweight announced his signing during The MMA Hour on Monday after he was released from the UFC in March after he was originally scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson in May.

Rothwell, 40, has faced a long list of top fighters during the course of his career, which dates all the way back to 2001 when he made his professional debut. Over the years, Rothwell has fought in numerous promotions including the IFL and Affliction before eventually signing with the UFC in 2009.

He bounced back and forth between wins and losses through his first five fights with the promotion prior to putting together his most impressive run with four consecutive victories that put him close to title contention.

During that run, Rothwell picked up wins over Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and he became the first person in mixed martial arts history to submit ex-UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.

Following that streak, Rothwell suffered three losses in a row while also serving a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for the “presence of an anabolic androgenic steroid.”

Over his last five fights with the UFC, Rothwell put together a 3-2 record including wins over Chris Barnett, Ovince Saint Preux and Stefan Struve.

Now he’ll look to make an impact with BKFC where he joins a heavyweight division headlined by reigning champion Arnold Adams, who sports a 6-1 resume with the bare-knuckle outfit. UFC veteran Alan Belcher has also recently been competing in the BKFC heavyweight division after he came out of retirement and picked up back-to-back wins with the promotion.

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